In the center of a corporate tower, amid a slick business and technological backdrop, lies a holistic pearl. TrÃ¼yoga has the atmosphere of a hip, organic, eco-savvy spa. The colors are soothing and earthy with tree tones and bamboo dÃ©cor. The scent of rejuvenating herbs and body butters wafts throughout the performance-engineered athletic clothing lines in the studio boutique racks. The serenity of ancient yogic practice is present, along with a palpable commitment to responsible fitness.
Director Peter Sterios, a licensed architect specializing in green design, devised TrÃ¼yoga as one of the first entirely green studios by using recycled building materials and eco-friendly products such as sustainable Brazilian hardwood floors, low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint and countertops made from pressed newspaper pulp. In addition, the studio utilizes mostly eco-friendly yoga equipment, only natural surfaces, energy efficient lighting and low-flow plumbing.
Classes are still relatively small””a luxury in these parts””and average about 10 people, so students are able to receive personal attention. “We have great teachers here,” Peter says. “Every one of them has the potential to be a major force in the yoga community in LA, and I’m really excited that TrÃ¼yoga has that environment for these young teachers to grow into their skin.” Peter’s class, a stimulating approach to hatha yoga inspired by the crossover of Qi-Gong and South Indian dance, reflects over 30 years of study and practice in the US and India.
“I don’t think what I teach is necessarily a mainstream style of yoga,” he says,
“so I get a lot of satisfaction out of the students who recognize that it’s something different from what they can get everywhere else and that it’s helping them move their practice to another level.”
Research and history show that many of the Shaolin monks from Northern China and the sadhus (holy men) and yogis from Northern India embarked on pilgrimages to the Himalayas, where a cross-pollination of thinking and practices occurred. One of the most significant influences that appealed to Peter was the idea of working with non-muscular force, something that might be forgotten in power yoga styles that are popular in the US. He believes that fitness and the subtle aspects of yoga are difficult to separate, and that “when you understand how energy moves in the body and you practice it, the byproduct is a fit body. We all have a commitment to the subtler aspects of yoga, but we’re all coming at it from a different place and I think that’s what yoga should be. Every teacher is unique; every teacher here is bringing something; there’s not one class here that’s the same. I like that diversity.” There is a true sense of community and family at TrÃ¼yoga that reflects the dream it has signified to everyone involved, a feeling that students and teachers increasingly sense through their commitment and participation.
Peter attributes his teachers with helping him arrive at the point where he is now, their main gift being the opportunity to see them struggle. It is easy to look at accomplishments without seeing what lies behind them, and TrÃ¼yoga took a great deal of hard work and obstacles. The silver lining is finding the inner teacher through the resistance we meet in our lives. Peter is grateful for not being crushed or discouraged by oncoming trials, and for the guidance he has received to keep at it, exclaiming, “Life is living through me and I’m just going, ”˜Wow, what a ride this is.’ And it’s really been fun. For me that’s awesome.”
Finding this beautiful green studio past the faÃ§ade of corporate restlessness, one is reminded of the trove of quietude that patiently waits for attention, pulsing behind the screen of routine with its alluring promise of peace.